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Diman will provide free period products in rest rooms for students

Audrey Cooney
The Herald News

FALL RIVER — Diman Regional Vocational Technical High School will stock restrooms with free menstrual products this year in an effort to help students who might struggle to get them otherwise.

"Free accessibility will help students who do not have access to products avoid embarrassment and anxiety," Principal Andrew Rebello said.

Rebello said the school already had free period products available in their nurse's office, but opted to begin placing them in the school's women's rooms and gender-neutral restrooms to make the process of getting them less intimidating.

Diman joins growing national trend of providing feminine products 

Rebello said the move was inspired by growing calls for schools to provide free period products from groups like United Way of Greater Fall River. Public school students currently have access to free period products in several states including California, Illinois, New Hampshire and New York. And last month, Rhode Island's Gov. Daniel McKee signed a bill that required the same.

And, Diman is urging Massachusetts to take the same step. Writing on behalf of the broader Diman community and the district's school committee, Rebello recently sent a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker encouraging him to support having free period products in public schools across the state

Diman pens letter to Gov. Baker calling for support for free period products

"Having non-intrusive access to feminine hygiene products must be a fundamental right for every child," he wrote.

Rebello said they're not yet sure exactly how many students will benefit from the new initiative or how much it will cost, but that they plan to calculate those things at the end of the upcoming school year.

The initiative is all about making students feel comfortable in school, he said.

"If students do not feel safe, they will not learn," he said.